Navigating This Place

This is a very general blog. It covers basically everything I have even the modicum of interest in.

If you want to find posts on a specific topic, I’d suggest using categories, as linked below.

Atheism Blog Administration Crafty Stuff
Knitting Environmentalism Mental Health
MIT Monday Miscellaneous Personal
Photography Politics Recipes
All Reviews Fountain Pen Reviews Ink Reviews – coming eventually!
Science All Social Justice Feminism
LGBT Technology

Medications Questions Checklist

Questions I find useful to have answers to, whenever I have to take medications. For any type of medication. If I’m not sure, well, asking a doctor or a pharmacist doesn’t hurt.

  • How is this medication supposed to work? Is there a theoretical basis for this medication? There are some medications that don’t have a theoretical basis *cough* lithium *cough* but having a theoretical basis is reassuring and useful in helping me predict how I might react.
  • What should I expect from this medication? What side effects am I likely to get? What rare side effects should I be aware of and look out for? Are there side effects that, if they appear, mean that I should proceed directly to the hospital, not passing go and not collecting two hundred dollars? (Example – the Lamictal Rash)
  • What should I do if I accidentally miss a dose? With some medications, the dose is just skipped. In others, you can make up for it. Additionally – what does “missed” mean? How big of a window do I have? Some birth controls have very small windows.
  • Does this come in generic? Generics are in general cheaper. This isn’t just “does this specific med come in generic”, it’s also “does something in this class come in generic?” If you get a branded combo med, can you take the two parts separately, as generics, and is that cheaper?
  • How is this metabolized? Is it primarily hepatic, renal, or something different? If hepatic, what liver enzymes does it rely on? There are quite a bit of variation to liver enyzmes; if you happened to get a less effective variant (or maybe even a super effective variant), asking your doctor about adjusting medication dosage may help.
  • Does this medication have any special instructions? Do I have to take it with food? Or drink a certain amount of water with it? Must I avoid grapefruit? Stand on my head?
  • Corollary: Does this medication interact with any other medication I’m taking, or any of the supplements? I don’t supplement much – multivitamin, D3 (for which I am borderline deficient in), fish oil (which has pretty good evidence), B-complex, and caffeine, so in general I don’t have many issues with supplement-med reactions. Some medications react badly with supplements or generic medications: St. John’s Wort makes birth control less useful, for example, and some cold medications raise serotonin levels, which is dangerous if you’re on a SSRI.
  • If I discontinue this medication, what should I be aware of? What are the chances I’ll be able to discontinue? When can I discontinue? Am I looking for a specific outcome, or will I be done with this medication after a certain amount of time, or do I have to take it forever? What are the chances that I’ll be forced to discontinue, especially forced to discontinue quickly?

Monday Miscellaneous: The Ebola Edition

XKCD Alt text: “People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years.”

XKCD hits the nail on the head as always, but honestly, I think that this lack-of-decision is just that – a lack of a decision that can be easily changed. And honestly, I don’t expect this to stick, so, uh, get married while you can?

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Split-skeining

I guess I'm a bit late to this party

Yes, I’m knitting with only two plies of this yarn

So, this is a “technique” I accidentally discovered one time when I forgot to bring my current yarn to the yarn store so I could properly match and accidentally got yarn that was a little too thick for my purposes. Given that it was a cheap acrylic and I wasn’t about to go back to the yarn store (see: thirty minute T ride each way), I was kind of stuck. So I tried seeing what happened if I just…split the yarn, and knit with only two of the plies (out of four).

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Platinum Preppy

Platinum Preppy

I picked up one of these things as a lark, about a year ago, mostly because well, I was getting tired of buying and throwing away $3 gel pens. This came free with a giant bottle of Noodler’s Baystate Blue, along with a marker pen that’s currently living life as a makeshift refillable highlighter. The vast majority of this bottle of Baystate is still in existence, and I dare say that it will probably be many a year before I finish off the bottle, especially since I rather do prefer the ink diluted in water, three parts ink to one part water.

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Monday Miscellaneous

Arizona Republican Advocates Stoning Children.

“The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21″ – Republican Charlie Fuqua, from his book God’s Law

“I think my views are fairly well-accepted by most people” – Charles Fuqua, as quoted by the Associated Press

From a book I happened to have about policing: in the first article (“Police Officers: A Gender Perspective” by Loretta Stalans, Loyola University of Chicago) about the status of female police officers in the 1950s:

 The acceptance won by female officers came at a high cost. This different stance allowed gender stereotypes to remain intact and justified the men’s perspective that women’s work was not worth as much as men’s worth. Women were paid substantially less than men, but were required to have qualifications than men. For example, women were required to have a high school diploma and often required to have college education and work experience, whereas men did not face education requirements until 1955 (Feinman, 1994). The number of women in police departments was kept low by quotas, an women were given different training from that given to men. Besides the lower pay, departments did not allow women to be promoted, regardless of their ability or experience. By emphasizing how women were different from men, women allowed male officers to view them as necessary tools for the performance of undesirable duties rather than persons with equal talent and competence.

The full citation of Feinman is Feinman, C. (1994). Women in the criminal justice system. Westport, CT: Praeger; the emphasis is mine. tl;dr – benevolent sexism sucks too.

Voter turnout’s quite correlated with income.

Voter Turnout By Income, 2008 US Presidential Election. Source.

And finally, one of those things that’s just a great piece of advice no matter what you’re trying to do.

Morning guys. I hope you remember today that if you slip up you can restart your day at any time. You don’t have to wait til the next day to start over. Just sit down, breathe for a few minutes, and start again.

Reminds me of one of my favorite SIXX:A.M. songs….